The 2008 legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly has been a busy one so far. The first four weeks have set the stage for what is sure to be an exciting second half of the session.
Every once in a while, a crisis comes along that tells you everything you need to know about the character and courage of our elected leaders. When circumstances collide to create a situation where only tough trade-offs and compromises offer the chance for a real solution to a problem, that's when you can see if the people we have entrusted with elected office are up to the task.
Standing beside West Point Lake in the spring of 2004, Gov. Perdue signed House Bill 237, establishing the State Water Council and requiring it to present to the Georgia General Assembly a statewide water management plan for its approval in the 2008 Session.
Hold on children. Help is on the way!
As we approach the midpoint of this session of the Georgia General Assembly, the Senate is still hard at work addressing pressing issues facing Georgia residents.
Proponents of a strong two-party state government ought to be jubilant at the outcome of Georgia's Feb. 5 presidential primary.
As a teenager on a sweltering August day in 1963, I stood among 250,000 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and listened as a fellow son of Georgia described a dream he had.
This Valentine's Day I celebrated "I Love Mountains Day." I delivered valentines to politicians who keep allowing King Coal to cut the heads off the oldest mountains in the world.
The 2008 Georgia General Assembly session is in mid-stream as we have completed its 14th day (Friday).
Recently, Dr. James Dobson came out publicly and stated that if Arizona Sen. John McCain carries the Republican nomination for the presidency he would not cast a vote in the 2008 presidential election.
So far, watching Georgia politics in 2008 has been like having a ringside seat at a professional wrestling match. Legislating sound laws and presenting calm and prudent budget plans have been replaced by threatened body slams and real flying chairs.
The Senate was hard at work again this week, boldly tackling difficult issues facing our state. One of the issues at the top of that list is transportation.
Liberty County students and property taxpayers could see some much-needed help under a tax relief bill introduced in the House of Representatives last week.
I have the distinguished honor of endorsing Gov. Mike Huckabee as the candidate to become the Republican nominee and the next president of the United States. He has extensive leadership experience, and he possesses strong Christian conservative values. He is dedicated to promoting personal responsibility, and believes in less government, less taxes and empowering the family. He is the Republican that I trust with the future of our country.
This week, Georgia House Democrats announced two legislative proposals that would put a stop to school funding cuts and relieve the burden of nearly $1.6 billion in tax shifts from local property owners. The plans provide fiscally sound property tax relief by fully funding the Quality Basic Education (QBE) Act.
There will be a public hearing Tuesday in Richmond Hill held by the Georgia Department of Transportation in reference to the proposed pipeline Kinder Morgan wants to install along the entire coast of Georgia. It is important that Coastal Georgia residents attend.
Lawmakers passed a nearly $22 billion spending plan that includes about $900 million in new revenues, consumed for the most part by school-enrollment growth, increasing retirement benefit-plan expenses for state employees and about $288 million to reduce an austerity cut for public schools. The 2016 budget also increases the local school-district cost of insurance for bus drivers and other non-certified school workers by more than $100 million, so it remains to be seen how much of the $288 million is used for teacher raises and undoing recession-era cuts.
Sometimes we forget that there are a lot of good people on this Earth doing good things. I was reminded of that by my friend, Jack Cookston, who recently had some medical issues that required him to cart around an oxygen tank wherever he went. (Happily, his health has improved and the oxygen tank is history.)
As expected, transportation funding and the governor's proposal to address persistently failing public schools dominated Georgia's legislative session. The measures passed, yet several opportunities to address critical economic issues were missed.
Carrie called the other day, and I grabbed the phone just as I was coming in from the garage. I dropped my purse at the foot of the stairs and sat down on a step to talk. No conversation with Carrie is ever short. Even her voicemails run three to four minutes.
I would love a good, old-fashioned rain - or, as we used to call it, gully washer - this week.
I just finished reading an article written by Valerie Tarico on Yahoo. The story was titled "Right-wing Christianity teaches bigotry: The ugly roots of Indiana's new anti-gay law."
Fortune Magazine has announced its list of the World's Greatest Leaders for 2015, and would you believe that I got snubbed again this year?
The Georgia General Assembly adjourned last week, and much was accomplished during a very busy session. The following are some of the bills that were agreed upon by both the House and Senate and have been sent to the governor for his approval.
With the 2015 General Assembly session ending last week, here's a list of the health-care winners and losers during the 40 days of the Legislature.
"The ultimate test of man's conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations, whose words of thanks will not be heard." - Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day
Editor, I want to address the front-page, above-the-fold news story by Randy C. Murray, "Is there racial profiling in Liberty County?" (Wednesday, April 1).
Before Thanksgiving, as I "juned" - a mountain word Mama used to mean "moved faster" - around the kitchen preparing for company, it occurred to me that I should invite Jerry.
Many are aware that Faith Baptist Christian Academy of Ludowici recently experienced an investigation by the U.S. Homeland Security Department. We wish to express, first of all, our deep regret that such a situation has occurred. It has never been our desire to bring any undue attention or embarrassment to our ministry, our church or our city. We would, however, like to set the record straight on a few items.
Congress has developed a fondness for open letters when it comes to Iran. First came the warning shot signed by 47 Republican senators that touched off a storm of criticism. Not to be outdone, the House checked in with its own bipartisan and more diplomatically stated letter to the president, warning that its members must be satisfied with any agreement before they'll vote to reduce sanctions.